Designing with, not for

Design Beku is a collective which emerged from our desire to explore how technology and design can be decolonial, local and ethical. We work with contexts and collaborators; not clients.

We challenge the notion that design and technology are easy solutions to complex and contextual problems, and instead choose to work together with communities and organisations to co-design responses to challenges that are best understood by the communities themselves.

Design Beku was founded in response to mainstream design impulse to “solve” problems for communities, especially through technological interventions that were often irrelevant and unsuited to their context.

At the core our approach is the feminist ethical frame of care —a situated, continuous and collaborative tinkering of matters of concerns, drawing upon empathy as well as solidarity with the communities we work with. We see codesign as a care-in-practice, an onto-epistemology that orients us to align with marginalized populations and their concerns to collaboratively evolve systemic solutions, enabled by but not led by technology . This codesign is only possible by establishing and sustaining meaningful relationships with the communities we work with.